Lakers News: Alex Caruso Being Evaluated For Concussion But Not In Protocol
Alex Caruso, Lakers
Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have been hit by the injury bug over the last few weeks and it has forced head coach Frank Vogel to alter his rotations in a big way.

Anthony Davis remains out with a calf strain and Marc Gasol is currently in the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocol. Now the Lakers’ backcourt could be taking a hit after Alex Caruso left the Lakers’ win over the Indiana Pacers.

In the second quarter of the contest, Caruso hustled to tap a ball out to Kyle Kuzma in the corner for a 3-pointer. Unfortunately, he would run into a Pacers player and the back of his head would hit the floor. Caruso would stay on the ground for some time before eventually walking to the locker room.

Caruso did not return to the game and afterward, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel gave an update on his condition.

“Alex [Caruso] was obviously not able to return. He is not in concussion protocol but is still being evaluated for a concussion but is not in protocol currently.”

The Lakers’ backcourt has been in a bit of a slump recently and losing Caruso would be a tough loss, especially defensively.

Luckily, the Lakers don’t play until Monday, which gives Caruso a few days to heal up and get ready to play against the Golden State Warriors if he is able to avoid going into the concussion protocol.

While his numbers rarely stand out, Caruso always seems to be in the right spot on the floor and consistently makes great plays for the Lakers on both ends of the floor. Dennis Schroder is the Lakers’ next best playmaker after LeBron James, but with Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol still currently out, the Lakers need other players who can create shots for others.

Caruso is capable of providing that in spurts and remains one of the Lakers’ most trusted defenders who can guard a number of positions. As such, him being out would put pressure on other role players to turn things around quickly.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wesley Matthews and Talen Horton-Tucker have all been inconsistent at best recently. Horton-Tucker picked up all of Caruso’s minutes in the second half, but it is unknown what Vogel would do should Caruso be forced to miss some time.

One other option would be Alfonzo McKinnie, who looked more than adequate when given big minutes against the Sacramento Kings recently. Vogel praised him then saying he made a case for more minutes, and he would undoubtedly help their cause defensively.

Hopefully Caruso will be good to go moving forward, but the injuries are beginning to pile up for the Lakers and they will need everyone to step up until they are able to return to full strength.

Caruso could draw interest at mid-level exception in free agency

The Lakers’ fan-favorite guard has proven to be an important piece to the team and while that is great for the Lakers, it could also make it difficult for the team to keep him moving forward. Caruso will be an unrestricted free agent following this season and some executives believe he could command the full mid-level exception this offseason.

That exception will be worth around $9.5 million, a major leap from the $2.7 million Caruso is earning this year. Owner Jeanie Buss has been open about her willingness to spend to keep the Lakers at the top of the championship contenders list, but the league has clearly taken notice of what Caruso can bring to a team.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Throwback Thursday: Kobe Bryant Sets MSG Record With 61 Points

On Feb. 2, 2009 Kobe Bryant put on of his greatest performances in the World’s Most Famous Arena. It was then when Bryant set the then- Madison Square Garden scoring record by dropping 61 points…

NBA DFS: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LaMarcus Aldridge Among Top Picks On DraftKings

Among Draft Kings’ top daily fantasy picks for Monday are Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs…

Lakers News: Jared Dudley Details Role On And Off The Court For 2019-20 NBA Season

While waiting for Kawhi Leonard to make his decision during 2019 NBA free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers signed a couple…

Lakers News: LeBron James ‘Extra Motivated’ To Prove He Is Not Washed During 2019-20 NBA Season

A groin injury and other factors limited LeBron James to just 55 games in his debut 2018-19 NBA season with the Los Angeles…